Ecosystem services in theory and practice

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The ecosystems of the world generate processes that provide values to human well-being. Thus, these systems function as a kind of natural capital, in that they are a stock that yields a flow of services over time. These ecosystem services generate benefits to societies in the form of clean air, water, fiber, and food, among others. They provide a challenge to traditional economics in developing appropriate ways to assign value. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment developed a categorization of these services into four broad themes: provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting. How we value these services is critical for developing models of sustainable use to guarantee that we do not exhaust this natural capital. This will require economic models that give consideration to economic, ecological, cultural, and social valuations in an integrated fashion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationValuing Nature: Protected Areas and Ecosystem Services
    Editors Penelope Figgis, Brendan Mackey, James Fitzsimons, Jason Irving and Pepe Clarke
    Place of PublicationUltimo, Australia
    PublisherAustralian Committee for IUCN Inc
    ISBN (Print)9780987165459
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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